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Geoffrey Ditcham, Asst Chorus Master

Geoffrey Ditcham grew up in Cambridge, where he learned the piano somewhat reluctantly, but enjoyed a few years as Solo Chorister in Clare College Choir. Because he actually liked taking Music Exams and competing in the annual local Music Festival, there was enough motivation to keep the piano going through the dangerous early teenage years. By coincidence, he and several erstwhile Festival rivals chose to leave their schools and transfer to Cambridgeshire College of Arts & Technology at 6th Form level, in order to study Music, which then became sociable and fun, so he was glad he had persisted.

After graduating from The Royal College of Music, Geoff enjoyed a career as Director of Music at schools in Suffolk, The Edinburgh Academy, and Monkton Combe Junior School in Bath. For several years he was Chorus Master of The Edinburgh Royal Choral Union, collaborating with eminent Conductors (including Sir Charles Groves, Bryden Thomson, and Vernon Handley) to prepare the choir for concerts in The Usher Hall, some of which were BBC broadcasts. On a different level, he was asked by the W.E.A. to experiment with a Choir "for nervous or inexperienced singers". The resulting "Practice Choir" began with 23 timid members, and within two years had a regular attendance of 150. Geoff was also the official page-turner for The Edinburgh International Festival, a fascinating opportunity to observe closely how the stars behave on and off-stage!

Since taking early retirement from his post at Monkton Combe, Geoff has been able to take part in the musical life of the City. He is a deputy pianist for The Pump Room Trio and appears in numerous local Concert Parties. He is particularly pleased to have forged a link with Bath Choral Society, standing in for the Conductor or the Accompanist as and when required.

July 2016

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